The Importance Of Intelligence In Such Leaders Like Genghis Khan And Alexander The Great

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From military geniuses such as Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great, to Philosophers such as Plato and Pythagoras, all of our great leaders have been very very smart. It was no different in Ancient Rome, in which brain was valued over brawn in a leader.

First off, I want to mention that out of all 45 US presidents and 22 Canadian prime ministers, none have had an IQ of under 120, which is above average. it’s true that IQ tests aren’t perfect, but they are still a good indicator of general intelligence. Now, just like all of these people, leaders in ancient times also needed to be smart. the Romans, in particular, used tactics and brains to conquer more than half of rome and the middle east, and a sizeable chunk of northern africa as well. Even in julius caesar, we see that antony and brutus, both exceptional leaders, were able to turn crowds and raise mutiny just with their words. And the only reason antony prevailed, was because he did it better.

In my second point, I’d like to mention a study done by the university of cambridge. 62 students were evaluated based on word recall and power on a rowing machine. On the second attempt, performance in the second task fell by 12.6%, while performance on word recall fell only 9.7%. This is because the body has a tendency to prioritise the brain over other, less essential bodily systems. When presented with two tasks simultaneously, one requiring mental focus, and the other requiring muscular effort, the body will invariably prioritise the brain. This is also true in mostly all animals, all over the planet, and According to The Evolution Institute, “animals with brains that are relatively large compared to their body size are better suited for survival”. So now, instead of being just an argument among humans brain over brawn is a law of the animal kingdom.

Third point, the whole premise of the roman empire is brain over brawn. The commanders used superior tactics, equipment, siege engines, etcetera, and managed to conquer a huge swath of territory, right in the middle of europe. This is seen in julius caesar at least once, when brutus managed to push back octavius’ men despite having several thousand fewer men (seriously, look it up). Due to their superior positioning, better tactics and leadership, they managed to push back octavius, and antony was forced to retreat to help him. The only thing that went wrong, was a simple misunderstanding, leading to the conspirators’ loss at philippi. Eventually, the Roman empire did fall, although their history is still very much alive, influencing most of western culture.

Last, I want to give a few more examples where brain has bested brawn. The siege of leningrad, where the soviet union withstood german and finnish forces for 872 days, despite insurmountable odds and over 3,000,000 casualties. The Great Siege of Malta in 1565, where 70,000 ottomans attempted to seize the island from just 6,000 assorted european troops, and failed, fleeing by sea. Even the invention of the electric motor, has revolutionizing almost everything about our lives, could be considered a victory of brain over brawn.

To conclude, intelligence is an increasingly important trait in our modern world. But although It has led to the start of the industrial revolution, the victory over the axis in world war 2 and the start of the information age, it’s still important to have a bit of both brain and brawn. Thank you for listening. 

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